If there is a certain spirit about a
town, it comes from the people
who live there. It comes from being a proud Canadian, proud of a heritage
within Canada and its province. The roots established in a hometown
environment last forever. The courage of our forefathers who began with
little more than strong backs and tough hands in a new land is astounding
but admirable. The flourishing villages and farms along with mills passed
on to the following generations provided the foundation for the country.
More than 150 years
ago, Ranald McKinnon of Scottish ancestry, made sure the community of
Caledonia took on his heritage when he named the town, its streets and
squares. Edinburgh, the only town square left today, retains the town hall
built in McKinnon’s time. Now a Heritage and Cultural Centre, it preserves
the history and artifacts of our past and passes on the legacy left by
McKinnon and others of his era.
The town is growing very
rapidly these days with new developments branching out into what were once
rural areas. Less than twenty years ago the population was stagnant at
3000. Now the statistics boast almost double that. Caledonia was
once a town within the County of Haldimand, surrounded by the townships of
Oneida and Seneca, with the Six Nations Reserve found at their borders.
Today these areas and Caledonia, along with Cayuga, Hagersville and their
surrounding districts, are contained within the Town of Haldimand, one of
six area municipalities within the Regional Municipality of Haldimand
Ours is a picturesque,
nostalgic community where one can walk the banks of the Grand River along
a path that was once a towpath. This towpath is the tangible reminder of
the heyday of river navigation, the reason for the town’s settlement in
the 1830’s. The historic nine
span bridge in the heart of town, the only one of its type in Canada, is
of significant interest and another link with the river. With the recent
designation of the Grand River as a Canadian Heritage River a new era and
Renowned for its natural beauty and
cultural diversity, Caledonia, situated only a few miles south of Hamilton
and within an hour’s drive of major cities in southern Ontario, has
location as a key reason for its rapid growth. Other contributing factors
can be found in the small town atmosphere, the nature of the people and
their pride in their heritage.
We owe much to those who have gone
before for they are the true links to our present and future. One such
person was O.T. Scott who described what Caledonia was, and still is, in a
poem written in 1927:
Our Village does not claim to be
The largest in
We’re just a pretty little burg
Along the River Grand.
But we have points of interest
That make life here worthwhile
And bring you home contented
When you’ve travelled many a mile.
And we in business want to build,
And keep our Town’s good name,
To pull together, lend a hand
And learn to play the game.
And so a toast, I give to you,
I ask you drink it deep
The Town of Caledonia
My town — to build and keep.